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AFC West Roundup: Week 3 - The Chiefs are back, unfortunately

Let’s take a look at why the AFC West is the 2nd-worst division in the league

NFL: Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are still living in the nightmares of NFL fans everywhere, the Los Angeles Chargers are still the best at losing a wide receiver to injury, and Josh McDaniels continues to make some baffling decisions that ultimately lead to a Las Vegas Raiders loss.

Let’s see what went down.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Kansas City Chiefs 11 6 0 4-2 9-3
Las Vegas Raiders 8 9 0 4-2 6-6
Denver Broncos 8 9 0 3-3 5-7
Los Angeles Chargers 5 12 0 1-5 3-9

Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins

Final score: 20-70

Recap: This was literally one play away from being the worst defensive performance in the history of the NFL, it was only due to former Broncos ball boy, Mike McDaniel, choosing to kneel down instead of kicking a field goal.

And where do you even start with this one? The game plan was lacking, the effort was lacking, the tackling was lacking, the pass rush was lacking, and any sort of run defense was lacking. It was all bad on that side of the football. And it’s still crazy that Vance Joseph has a job after this. It’s even worse when even Kareem Jackson is admitting that, “we didn’t do anything that we put in place.”

Luckily, there is some sort of good that you can find from this game. Marvin Mims Jr. is on his way to becoming one of the best playmakers in the league. Between the 38-yard reception he made while being hit by two defenders and his 99-yard kickoff return touchdown, he is a stud. The only problem is that he only touched the ball four times on offense.

Also according to NFL analyst Tim Jenkins with All Things QB, Russell Wilson had his best game as a Bronco.

Injury concerns: LB Josey Jewell left the game with a groin injury.

Week 4 matchup: Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears

Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings

Final score: 28-24

Recap: The Chargers managed to escape US Bank stadium with a win on Sunday as they managed to keep Kirk Cousins and the Vikings out of the endzone twice in the last three minutes, capped off by an interception off of a deflection with just seven seconds to go.

The game plan for the Chargers was obvious: let it rip. Justin Herbert would finish the game with 405 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Keenan Allen would have a massive game, to the joy of fantasy managers everywhere. He had 18 receptions for 215 yards and a 49-yard passing touchdown.

Los Angeles still has a near-non-existent rushing game as they finished with just 30 rushing yards on 15 carries. You can do the math on how poor of a yards-per-carry stat that is. The story still circles Austin Ekeler and when he will return from his injury. When he comes back this offense has the potential to be one of the best.

Injury concerns: Mike Williams suffered a torn ACL during the game. He is expected to be ready by the start of training camp next year.

Week 4 matchup: Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs

Final score: 10-41

Recap: The Kansas Chiefs are still really good at football, and the Chicago Bears are still really bad at football. I, for one, am thankful for the Bears because they’re the only reason the Broncos aren’t the worst team and most embarrassing franchise in the league right now. Chicago’s only points would come off a field goal and a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, pretty much only due to the Chiefs deciding they were done playing for the day.

The Chiefs would play complementary football in their dismantling of Chicago. Three receivers would finish with over 50 receiving yards, with Travis Kelce having the most at 69, and two running backs having more than 50 rushing yards. The only negatives they saw on offense were the two interceptions that backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw late in the game.

The only good news from this game for the other AFC West teams is that the Bears' defense managed to make the Chiefs punt once. That’s a win.

Injury concerns: QB Patrick Mahomes rolled his ankle again and was in a decent amount of pain. He would say after the game that he is fine. OL Prince Tega Wanogho left the game with a quad injury.

Week 4 matchup: Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final score: 23-18

Recap: The main storyline coming out of this game is the decision that Josh McDaniels made that may have ultimately led to Vegas’ loss. After entering the 4th quarter trailing 23-7, the Raiders had a chance to tie the game in the last few minutes, but McDaniels decided to kick a short field goal instead of attempting to convert on 4th and 8. It also didn’t help that Jimmy Garoppolo would throw another three interceptions, bringing his season total up to six.

Davante Adams was able to put together arguably his best game as a Raider on Sunday night though, having a monster game that included 13 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns. After the game, he would seemingly call out the organization by saying:

“I don’t got time to wait around. … It’s not a personal thing. I mean it is a personal thing, but it ain’t just about me. It’s not my mentality to sit here and try to take all season to figure it out and use these early games like this to establish our identity. We’re not doing the things the right way to establish a winning culture early in the season, so we gotta do something to turn that around.”

So the Raiders loss comes at a cost. Good news for the rest of the division

Injury concerns: QB Jimmy Garoppolo has entered concussion protocol.

Week 4 matchup: Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

Predictions for Week 4

Last week I correctly picked three of the four games, the only one I got wrong was the Chargers, after they found a way to not lose. My season record now stands at 7-5 after entering the week 4-4 on the year.

I will be taking the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers this week. It’s dumb to pick against Mahomes, and I don’t think Denver is bad enough to lose to Chicago. At least I hope not. The Chargers should be able to pass all over the Raiders' defense, but we’ll see if Brian Hoyer ends up being better than Jimmy G.

Drop your predictions in the comments!